A U C K L A N D • The place where my biggest dream came true. The place where I felt my most free. The place where my heart became whole again. The place where the one person that understood me more than anyone lived. 8,165 miles away. But forever holds a piece of me. Now I can remember it forever in every home I move to. Thank you @grafomap for engraving a memory into my home.
Most of you know but my best friend Paige lives in New Zealand and we have been friends for basically before time. You can watch our story here.
I was excited to collaborate with grafomap because Paige and Auckland mean so much to me and the fact that I get to take this incredible photo everywhere I go means that I can forever remember the memories that her and I have in Auckland. Also grafomap made the process of choosing which city I wanted so EASY! You just enter in the city you want and boom! it goes onto the map and you just check out and it comes straight to you. I was highly impressed with the easy to use process that anyone could do and the timing of the package on it's arrival.
It is the perfect sentimental gift that will mean more to those you love than you'll ever know. Whether it's your favorite vacation destination, or your small hometown that you never want to forget. It will stay in your home and remind you of the times you wish, had, or mean the most to you.
Most people don't know but I have an older brother. He's two years older than me and sometimes a pain in my rear end. But overall as much as I said "I hate you!" as a kid, I love my brother more than anything.
As kids, we shared a bedroom for years!!! I remember we had this tiny tv in our room and we would watch old western movies and summer of the monkey's on it over and over. After a classic Lone Ranger film we would grab our pretend guns, I threw on my brothers jeans and a baggy t-shirt and we would sit at our table with pencils as our cigars, oatmeal in water for "grits" and water as our "beer" hahahaha Classic Times!
I always get questions from parents about how my brother felt growing up with a sister having only one arm and honestly I've never really asked him.
In high school if someone were to ever say anything I knew he'd defend me and protect me. But growing up there was nothing that I couldn't do. As kids we played together in the dirt, snow, mud. Once we decided to "run away" from home and so we grabbed out basic necessities you know... like my leap frog and his guns and we walked down our long lane, sat down, and I think we sat there for a few hours then decided we were hungry or something. I have so many good memories with my brother like filling up a big jug full of worms after it rained.
And then high school happened.... I started getting girly, liking fashion and doing pageants and we got along a little less. I think this happens to most siblings but one thing I always knew was that my brother would protect me no matter what.
Sure you aren't always going to get along perfectly with a sibling but don't forget to Thank God for them.
Yesterday I went to my brothers to shoot his gun and it reminded me how lucky I am to have been blessed with him as my brother.
When I was shooting we ran into the issue of my arm not being steady because I don't have another one to hold onto it with. My brother so kindly said to me "we will figure out a way, try this"
As I left my brothers house I am sure he didn't know how much it meant to me that he tried to help me figure out a way. But his kindness and compassion for his little sister was the sweetest thing.
Sure brothers are going to get on your nerves more than once, they will come barging in your room when you don't want them to. They will steal your phone to get the scoop on the boy you like so that they can know where to find him if he hurts you. And they are going to get the guns out to clean when you have your first date. They will tell you how they don't like the boys you date and in my case how much of a man they are not! (Also listen to your brother when he says this because brothers really can tell the difference between a boy and a man.) And while at the time you might hate it and he will be on your last nerve. In all reality later in life when you learn to appreciate it all and you begin to understand that your brother only wants the best for you. You will see how blessed you are that God gave you a brother.
So to my brother....
As much as you get on my nerves sometimes and I know I get on yours too, I am extremely grateful to have you as my brother. Thanks for protecting me, for being extremely picky about the guys I go on dates with, thanks for putting me in my place when I lose sight of what's important in life. Thanks for being a loving, thoughtful, and compassionate person and for helping me figure out a way to do something one handed. You are pretty cool I guess. Love Ya!
1. God's Plan Is So Much Greater
Im a planner but over the years I've learned that God's plan for me is greater than any plan I could ever come up with.
2. Stress Less
Most of the time I am a ball of stress, I think of every little detail, I plan for all the things that could go wrong. I think I get it from my grandma, but I've learned to just let things go and give it to God.
3. Have a little fun!
For some reason Ive always been a pretty serious person. I am extremely goal oriented and take school very seriously. But I've found that it's okay to not be productive sometimes and to catch a movie and dinner with your friends. Its important to embrace what life has to offer and have a little fun!
4. Travel Often
This year I randomly booked a flight to Colorado. It might have been the best decision I have ever made. Traveling teaches you so much and you learn that it's fun to be a little spontaneous. Getting outside your box and seeing the world is always a great idea, and you will learn so much while creating the best memories.
5. Thank Your Parents
My parents are my best friends. They have done soooo much for me over the years and raised me into the women I am today and I can't thank them enough for that. I know a lot of kids my age that stray away from their parents but guys... your parents have done so much for you and they love you more than anything. Thank them for that.
6. Getting A Dog is ALWAYS A Good Idea
This summer I got a dog, his name is Maverick and we are best buds. He listens to me when no one else wants to and Dogs will love you more than you will ever know. I am bias because I am an animal lover but basically get a dog. Its always a great idea. Until they chew up the wires to the garage.
7. Family Will Always Be There
My family is and forever will be everything to me. Friends come and go but family is forever.
8. Broken Hearts Don't Last Forever
I think this speaks for itself. Pray often.
9. Thank God for what you got
God gives so many blessings throughout our lives and instead of praying for Him to do things all the time I've learned to Thank Him for all the things he has blessed me with and will bless me with in the future.
10. Hug your Grandma
I love my grandma more than probably anyone on Earth so just hug your grandma because grandma's are some of the most loving people on Earth I swear.
11. More Coffee
Coffee is how I start my day, catch up in my day, and get through my day.
Thanks grandma for that sip of coffee when I was 8.
12. Meet new people
I'm not the best a meeting new people or going out of my comfort box to do so. But this year I joined a group of incredible Christian kids and I met this incredible gal named Taylor and she has a heart of Gold for the Lord. I encourage you to go outside your box and meet new people this coming year.
13. Success doesn't mean happiness
I have a lot of big goals. I wanna be the VP of HR, write a book, etc. But if there is anything my dad has taught me it's that your happiness doesn't come from how successful you are. It comes from the Lord.
14. Be Kind
The world needs more of this.
15. Go with the Flow
I plan way to much and I've learned that sometimes you gotta just go with flow and sit back and watch. It make life wayyyy less stressful. Just enjoy life to the fullest way possible.
16. Find something that relaxes you
This year I took on carving wood, and it's the one thing that fully relaxes me. I encourage you to find what that one thing is for yourself. You won't regret it.
17. Take on Less
All through college I took 21 credit hours, blogged, did instagram collabs, etc. I think it's important to take on less sometimes and just be in the moment.
18. Embrace your singleness
God has incredible things in store for you during this period and one day you will look and there will be someone running just as fast as you toward God and want the same things as you in life and that's when you know that there is someone that God might have in store for you.
Friends have never been my forte to say the least. I am more of a have a few really great friends kinda gal rather than have a hundred who don't really care about ya.
You know what I'm saying???
Throughout my life I've learned that many friends come and go but there are always those few people that stick with you through thick and thin and those are the ones that help you grow in your faith and you help them grow in theirs as well.
Being in college I've learned how important it is to find those few solid friends who share your love for Jesus.
I recently met the sweetest soul and her love for the Lord is empowering. And we recently have become friends and I am blessed God threw her into my life when he did.
Everyone longs to grow in their faith and become the person that God intended them to be, but often we need each other to gain it. We need those Jesus loving friends in our lives so that God can use them to tune us up so that our lives can become the beautiful song reflecting God and all His glory.
It's important to have an accountability partner - someone who you can share things with, trust to be honest between each other, share your strengths and weaknesses, and find someone that will encourage you in good times and in hard times when you need it most.
When I think of this type of friend this is what I look for
These traits are just a few but have been something that has helped me grow in my own faith and something I try to be for others. For example, I need a friend who knows Christ at about my same level so as I struggle through life, I know they will send me Scriptures that will get my attention and help me along the path. I need a friend who has experienced trials so we can share those with each other and help each other through those times of doubt and worry. I have found if they are naturally (genuine) a friend of mine, our paths cross enough for them to see into my life so that they gain the perspective to speak truth into my heart and I can do the same for them. The two traits that are really important to me are their ability to keep a confidence and their desire to pray for me consistently.
Life can be tiring and it's important to have trusted friends that help you grow and hold you up in hard times. It's also really important to be honest with each other in those times and sometimes bring each other back to reality. You can rejoice together, cry together, pray together, and praise Him together.
There hasn't been a ton of super hard times that stick out to me but there are a few moments that I vividly remember that will always been times that made me stronger.
So prepare for this post to be super real and raw.
1. THE SECRET MY PARENTS KEPT FROM ME FOR 19 YEARS
A secret say WHAT?! For real... I remember walking into my parents bedroom last year and I had never seen the look they had on their faces. At first I thought something was seriously wrong, like someone died. Then they looked at each other and back at me and calmly said Sarah we think it's time to tell you something that we have kept from you your whole life.
When you hear your parents say this your brain instantly goes to... Am I adopted?!
That wasn't the case, what was the case was the story Im about to tell. They didn't tell me this story because they never wanted me to think that it was a thought in their heads and as parents I think, they want to make sure the right message is relayed to their daughter.
Ive written on this before so if you want to read the whole story click here
Here's why I am grateful for this:
This story is a prime example of the way that God works. It shows my parents strength through a rough process that instead was graceful because my parents had the Lord at the center of it all and relied on him for everything. Im grateful that my parents told me because even though I still despise that doctor and want to send him a letter with bible verses and how incredible God is in his created of all people. I have forgiven and found grace in my heart and know that God will continue to work through me and Im sure that doctor knows what he wanted was not right.
2. THE MEME
I was on a plane to Colorado when I got a message on Facebook from a girl I went to high school with. I was surprised to say the least when she said, "Sarah I think you need to look at this"
As I opened up the link I was terrified and after what I saw I had every right to be.
The moment I saw what someone had created with a photo of me I felt my insides instantly cry for help. I was sitting by myself on the plane, a stranger next to me. I called my parents but their phones were already on airplane mode and I couldn't get their attention.
I started balling my eyes out so angry at the world and why anyone would post this. What did I ever do to them? How could someone lack so much heart? Where is kindness in this world?
You are probably wondering what the meme was... well it is extremely inappropriate so I wont post it on here but basically it was an inappropriate sexual meme of something to do with me having one arm.
I remember instantly contacting my best friend Paige and of course there she was in my worst one arm moment ready to comfort me and show me love. I am so grateful for her heart and for her understanding in these dark moments.
That plane ride was the longest plane ride of my life, or so it seemed.
When I got off the plane I ran to my dad and said dad, I don't know how to tell you this but I have a serious matter that is really bad and I don't know what to do. He didn't really know what to say either.
Here's why I'm grateful:
I am grateful because I learned that even though there are nasty, sickening, people in this world. There are people that love me more that anything that comfort me in these times. Like Paige, and my family. The internet is my friend most of the time but on this particular day it was my worst enemy. But there will always be negatives, you just have to find the positives and keep those at the top. Don't let negative people get to you. Just brush it off, it's not worth your tears or your energy.
3. THAT RUDE BOY
In high school there was this boy, I thought he was cute and I had a crush for sure. I remember we would text but one day I got told from one of his friends about a comment he made about me and my arm. Now I never had much trouble with guys and my arm but this was definitely the worst.
I wore my prosthetic to school the next day to feel "normal" I cried the night before wondering if I'd ever find a guy that loved me for me and loved my one arm life too. (I was an emotional teen, okay) hahaaha
I wont repeat what he said but when I asked him about it he owned up to what he did but the thing was, he would never say it to my face of course because he didn't have the balls to.
This is why I am Grateful:
It taught me that when I run into guys like this they obviously are NOT worth my time. And they are definitely not the right guy God has for me. It made finding guys (the right guys) easier for me. And I realized that guys are dumb and not worth the tears or my time. Those types of guys need to go back to how to be a kind man school and listen to their momma.
4. THE BULLIES
Let's just say high school my junior and senior year were rough and I have no desire to ever relive those moments.
My junior year a lot of really big things happened in my life, and this was the year I developed and decided my platform of Imperfectly Sarah. During these two years I had supporters and I had people that bullied me.
For myself it was all through social media, Twitter was a huge deal when I was in high school and people tweeted nasty comments about me. I had someone in high school tell me to go live my imperfectly perfect life and kill myself.
I told no one, and I didn't really let it affect me too much.
However what I did do was isolate myself from my peers.
This is something I don't recommend doing, because it created more bullies in the end.
This is why I am grateful:
I am grateful because it made me stronger in the end. I was able to just brush it off and not let the negativity affect me.
And I was able to use my experiences with bullying to impact the lives of so many kids in different schools and help give advice on what to do when you are bullied. Know that you are strong, you are loved, and you are NOT ALONE.
5. MISS INDIANA
During the week of Miss Indiana I was on a spiritual high with the Lord.
I learned so much.
The moment I got there I wanted to leave, I told my mom I wasn't cut out for this. All the girls were super serious about it, and most of them already knew each other. Of course there was drama, I mean you get a group of pageant girls together so I expected that.
But during the week God spoke to me more than ever.
Why I am Grateful: because God showed me that my purpose is greater than a crown on my head. My purpose wasn't meant for the process. I was able to see God at work more than ever.
It was a great reminder that God's purpose and plan for me is so much greater than my own.
Well known for her love for Jesus, coffee, and having one arm. Sarah share's stories in her life in hope to help others. She wants you to know that,
"Our differences do not define who we are but are a part of the story that God has written for our lives."
Sarah says, " I hope that I can be someone to relate to in a world of untold real stories. Everything I write is from my heart and real."
"We are all created imperfectly perfect by God, we should be proud of our imperfections and differences, they make us who we are today but do not define us, know that you are beautiful and remind yourself of this everyday."